37Handling of Unexploded Ordnance

The following information, of concern mainly to fishing vessels, is being published for the benefit of any other vessels which may have occasion to draw nets or trawls:

1Fishers operating off the coasts of Canada are warned that both non-explosive and explosive ordnance may be discovered in normal fishing areas. These ordnance items may be brought to the surface in nets or trawls.

oNon-explosive ordnance such as practice torpedoes will normally be painted bright orange; smaller non-explosive ordnance will normally be a dark blue or light blue. Any item which cannot be readily identified by sight as non-explosive ordnance should be treated as explosive in character. Explosive ordnance, small or large, will normally be painted or marked in yellow, red or green. If there is any doubt about the identity of any object brought up by nets or trawls, it should be considered as an explosive. It should be noted that ordnance having been in the water for longer periods of time will most likely have lost its markings and, like ordnance found on land, will likely have rusted.

2Practice ammunition still dangerous:

a.Orange torpedoes could still contain Otto Fuel;
b.Dummy ammunition formerly had a dark blue marking; currently, it has a bronze marking;
c.Colour Codes Above 20mm

i.Yellow  High Explosive
ii.Brown  Low Explosive
iii.Grey  Chemical
iv.Black  Armour Defeating
v.Light Green Smoke
vi.Light Red  Incendiary
vii.Orange  Recoverable

d.When a colour for a primary role does not in itself indicate the presence of an explosive or other hazardous material, the presence of these materials may be indicated by narrow bands or by letters applied in an appropriate colour of the code.

3Explosive ordnance may still be dangerous even after having been in the water for many years. Suspected explosive ordnance should be treated with great care, and if observed in the net or trawl while still outboard, no attempt should be made to bring it alongside or aboard. The trawl should be lowered and where possible, towed clear of regular fishing grounds before cutting away the net as necessary.

4In the event that a suspected explosive ordnance item cannot be released or freed by cutting the net or line, the following actions are advised:

(i)Stream the object as far aft as possible.
(ii)Notify the nearest Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) and stand by for instructions or help.
(iii)Position the crew at the forward end of the vessel, keeping the deck house between them and the object astern.
(iv)Maintain steerageway as necessary to stay in the area until help or instructions arrive.

5In the event of a suspected ordnance item not having been detected until the contents of the trawl have been discharged on deck, the following action should be taken:

(i)Great care should be taken to avoid bumping the object.
(ii)It should be stowed on deck away from heat and vibration.
(iii)It should be firmly chocked up and well secured to prevent movement.
(iv)It should be kept covered up and dampened down. (This is important because any explosive which may have become exposed to the atmosphere is liable to become very sensitive to shock if allowed to dry out).
(v)Notify the nearest Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) and stand by for instructions. The JRCC will then contact the nearest EOD team for direction.

6A ship with a suspected explosive item on board or in her gear should warn other ships in the vicinity and give them her position.

Note: The accompanying plates showing ordnance used currently and formerly by DND ships and aircraft will assist in identifying explosive ordnance that may be recovered from the sea.

Naval Underwater Charge

Picture 2

Signal Underwater Sound MK411 (Reduced Charge) (SUS) Signal Underwater Sound
MK 410 (High Explosive)


Depth Charge High Explosive DM211

Picture 3

Signal Sound Marine MK
NC 1 Mod 1

Naval Decoy

81mm & 82mm 001

82 mm Rocket Practice MASS Decoy

Picture 567

MK 234 Electronic Decoy Cartridge (Nulka)

Picture 5

Cartridge 5.125 Inch


Rocket 100mm Radar Echo Practice C20

Naval Pyrotechnics

Signal Smoke Aircraft Orange Drift Indicator C8

Picture 568

Marker Location marine C2A1

Marker Man Over Board (MMOB)

Picture 566

38mm Hand Held Illuminating Signal Flare (Radaflare)

Signal Smk & Illum Submarine Mk66 Red 1

Signal Smoke and Illumination Marine
Mk 66 Mod 2


Signal Smoke Marine MK3 Orange

Picture 641

Marker Man Overboard

Smoke and Light

Length 500 mm
Diameter 190 mm
(including the float)

Picture 642

Signal Illum

Marine Red Pinpoint Mk7

Length 247 mm
Diameter 35 mm

Picture 15

Rocket 100 mm

Radar echo P8

Length 1700 mm
Diameter 102 mm

Picture 24

100 mm Infra red

Decoy P6

Length 1600 mm
Diameter 103.2 mm

Picture 224

Flare Aircraft Parachute


Length 91.4 cm
Diameter 12.4 cm

Picture 225

Signal Underwater

Sound Mk411

Length 38.1 cm
Diameter 7.62 cm

Picture 226

Signal sound Marine

Height 8.89 cm
Diameter 7.62 cm

Picture 227

Signal Illum A-C

Single star 1.5 inch

Length 82.6 mm
Diameter 38 mm

Picture 228

Marker Location Marine

C1A1 or C1A2

Length 47 cm
Diameter 7.56 cm

Picture 230

5.125 inch chaff

Mk 182

Length 1206.5 mm
Diameter 130 mm

Picture 231

Marker Location Marine Mk 58

Length 21.5 inches
Diameter 4.9 inches

Picture 237

Signal Distress

Day and Night

Length 135 mm
Diameter 42 mm

Picture 238

Marker Man Overboard, Light And Smoke, Series III

Naval Shells

Picture 546

40 mm

Picture 547

57 mm

Picture 548

76 mm

Picture 549

20 mm

Picture 239

Mk46 torpedo

Picture 240

Mk48 Torpedo


Cart 57mm Pre-Fragmented
High Explosive


Cartridge 40mm
High Explosive-tracer (HE-T)


Cartridge 57mm Non-Frag Brown Band
Low Explosives

Picture 67 Picture 68

Both are inert
Dummy 40mm
Drill 40mm


Cartridges 40mm Practice (BL/P)

Projectile inert but could have live primer and propellant in cartridge case

Other Possible Ordnance

Picture 552

Depth Charge

HE DM211


Length 268 mm
Diameter 60 mm

Picture 553

Practice bomb

Picture 554

2.75 inch
rocket motor

Picture 555

2.75 inch warhead

A group of bullets with pointed tip  Description automatically generated

Post-WWII British Naval Projectiles


A green bomb on a brick wall  Description automatically generated

Anti-submarine charge (hedgehog)
Length 100cm
Diameter 18cm

A large green and yellow bomb on a black platform  Description automatically generated

Anti-Submarine (AS) Mortar

Length 150cm
Diameter 305mm

Authority: Department of National Defence (NDHQ)

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